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What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with alcohol advent calendars? Behind each door of these boxes is a different type of spirit, wine, beer or hard seltzer—one for every day of the advent. All make for an excellent gifting option, though we won’t judge if you pick up a calendar for yourself. With a variety of treats from classic vodkas to unique whiskeys, NIPYATA! Booze-Filled Advent Calendar is our top pick.
Here are the best alcohol advent calendars to order today.
Best Overall: NIPYATA! Booze-Filled Advent Calendar
Our top choice this year is an advent calendar with a little something for everyone. Featuring twelve single-serve spirits bottles ensconced behind twelve cheery pop-out windows, the NIPYATA! Booze-Filled Advent Calendar keeps giftees on their toes by delivering a new tipple for each of the twelve days. Included are classics like Grey Goose vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch, but your chosen recipient will also be treated to newer brands such as Aviation gin and Skrewball peanut butter whiskey. Try a new cocktail every day—or just keep a two-week supply of egg nog on hand, as those 50 milliliter bottles make for a pretty perfect one-pour spike.
Best for Beer: Beer Advent Calendar
Behind each door in this suds-filled advent calendar lies a different craft beer, hand-picked from crowd-favorite breweries across the country. There are 12 craft beers here, including ales, IPAs and porters. These aren't just any beers, though—every pick is rated 97+ to ensure what you’re getting is quality. Expect suds from Dogfish Head, Ballast Point, Cigar City, Bell's, Oskar Blues, Founders and Victory.
A perfect gift for your favorite beer lover, the calendars can also be personalized with a note. They are available for pre-order and will ship in mid-November.
Best for Wine: Wine Advent Calendar
For the vino fiend, Give Them Beer's Wine Advent Calendar features 12 different bottles of wine behind each door. Expect bottles from well-known wineries, like Ruffino and The Pinot Project.
While many other advent calendars include small glasses of wine, this one goes all in with 375-milliliter half bottles. Selections run the gamut from red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. With bottles large enough for sharing, this is a particularly enticing option for you and a friend or as a gift for couples.
Related: The Best Wines
Best for Sparkling Wine: World Market Bubbly Box
The holidays aren't complete without some bubbly. World Market offers a fun advent calendar, with seven bottles of sparkling wine from around the world. There’s crisp cava from Spain, prosecco from Italy, cool sparkling wine from California, and, of course, Champagne from France.
Sip the sparkling wine on its own, or use the small bottles of bubbly to craft effervescent cocktails, like a French 75, a Champagne Cocktail or a Champagne Cobbler. Each bottle also contains 187 milliliters (or just under 7 ounces) of wines—perfect for a solo glass at night or splitting petite glasses with a loved one.
Best for Gin: Drinks by the Dram Premium Gin Advent Calendar
The British know gin, and who better to pack up 24 different gins than U.K.-based Drinks by the Dram? Their boozy advent calendar highlights the versatility of the quintessential British spirit through sample-size bottles of different styles and flavors.
We won’t ruin the surprise with the full list, but the 1 ounce bottles behind the festive doors include samples from industry stalwarts such as Tanqueray and Hendrick's as well as more obscure brands like Bathtub Gin and Langley's. International gins are also highlighted, with bottles hailing from Japan, Italy, and even the US.
Related: The Best Gifts for Gin Lovers
Best for Whiskey: Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar
A great way to experience the world of Japanese whisky is via an advent calendar. This one from The Spirit Co includes 24 different 1-ounce drams, all hand-sealed in wax. Expect many award-winning distilleries and esteemed drams in the calendar (though they’ll be a surprise until you open them): Kaiyo, Nikka Days, Suntory, Hibiki and Yamazaki among them.
For all the spirits fans in your life, the brand also offers bourbon, tequila and rare whiskey iterations of this calendar. (The latter is even packed with bottles of incredible small-production whiskeys.)
Related: The Best Whiskeys
Best for Hard Seltzer: Hard Seltzer Advent Calendar
Hard Seltzer has become one of the most popular drinks for summer. So why not keep that sentiment going through the colder months? This quirky set from Give Them Beer packs 12 different hard seltzers in a fun twist on the traditional advent calendar.
Don’t expect any sugary swill here—the company curates some of the best hard seltzers of the year into a festive offering. White Claw and Truly will be found by each door, but there are also under-the-radar brands like Mighty Swell and Wild Basin.
Deliveries are available in November, though reservations are now open for pre-order.
Best for Hanukkah: City Brew Tours Holiday Craft Beer Boxes
City Brew Tours, known for its signature brewery tours, rolled out two advent-style craft beer boxes this year. The Hanukkah box brings eight nights of craft beers, ranging in styles from hazy New England IPAs to creamy stouts and Belgians, one for each night of Hanukkah. Brewery swag, gelt, and other beer-themed gifts are hidden throughout the box.
The Christmas box has a beer for each of the 12 days of Christmas, plus a sprinkling of branded gifts from the breweries and other stocking stuffers (think Christmas candies and bottle openers). For both boxes, the recipient can join an online discussion with a panel of beer experts on each day of the advent.
Best Customizable: Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
Shopping for an oenophile and know just what bottles to get them? This adorable advent calendar has enough slots for all their favorite wines, so you can personally curate the calendar. The laser-cut wood tree is outfitted to hold 24 mini bottles of wine (or, there's a scaled-down version that holds mini bottles of liquor).
Measuring 22 inches in height, the handcrafted tree makes for great holiday decor. Alcohol is not included with this advent calendar, which allows you to fully customize bottles based on your recipient (or, if shopping for yourself, fill with your favorite vino).
Best Budget: DIY Alcohol Advent Calendar
Want to save money on your boozy alcohol calendar this year? Here's an ingenious kit that lets you assemble your own, allowing for a truly customizable gift that fits a range of budgets. Maybe your friend is only a fan of vodka, or rum, or bitter Italian liqueurs—now you can curate an advent calendar for each individual palate. Better yet, because the enclosures are designed to fit not just mini-bottles but anything mini, you can mix up your selection by loading some of the dates with small accessories like corkscrews, novelty bottle stoppers, or other boozy tchotchkes.
Related: The Best Gifts for Bartenders
Whether your desired recipient is a whiskey buff, a gin nerd, or even a hard seltzer fanatic, there's an advent calendar for them this holiday season. And, if you're not sure which direction to go, the Booze-Filled Advent Calendar from NIPYATA! (view on NIPYATA!) is a perfect way to cover all your bases.
How much lead time do you need to order gifts around the holidays?
Typically, most domestic shipping services recommend getting your holiday gift orders in no later than early-to-mid-December in order to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve. With the supply chain issues currently plaguing all economic sectors, however, you may want to play it safe and get your ordering done even a couple of weeks earlier than that.
Can you ship alcohol from state to state?
Laws governing alcohol distribution in the US are notoriously convoluted, especially when shipping from state to state. If you're someone with the proper licenses to sell and distribute alcohol, then interstate shipping via FedEx or UPS may be possible (although you must advise the carrier your package contains alcohol, a surcharge will be applied to the shipment, and an adult must sign for it). If you're an unlicensed individual, your best bet is to check with your preferred local or online merchant about their shipping policies. Certain states don't allow the receipt of packages containing alcohol from other states, so you may find yourself looking up merchants based in your desired destination state, and ordering over the phone. Good luck!
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This roundup was edited by Jesse Porter, a spirits writer who's been the happy recipient of numerous booze-themed gifts over the years, and who's proud to say that he's only ever re-gifted two or three of them.
Kate Dingwall is a seasoned beverage writer, with work appearing on Wine Enthusiast, Tales of the Cocktail, and others. She likes her wine ice-cold and is always in for a camping trip.
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